The 2nd XI had high hopes for a strong performance against Derby 1st XI, after narrowly losing last year in a high scoring game. Today’s game would turn out to be another tight fixture, with some strong performances in all departments.
After initial amusement about Mr. Najam’s rogue training gear (bright green fluorescent top) and mistaking one of the Derby northerners for Rooty, it was down to business as we were put into bat on a good batting track, however without our strongest batting line up. Bradshaw and Chandi opened up, with Chandi falling to an unfortunate caught behind umpiring decision. Bradshaw and Goodyear provided a lot of stability with a solid 100 run partnership until a fierce short ball managed to hit Goodyear’ on the top of the eyebrow, going straight through helmet and grill. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire hurt (64*) despite claiming that he was fine to carry on: a true clubman. Batsmen 4, 5, 6 & 7 were frantically checking the gap between their helmet and grill whilst Goodyear was walking back to the pavilion, dripping with blood.
Despite this Bradshaw continued to bat very well, adamant to top the fantasy league until he nicked off, scoring a vital 86. Gutted not to ton up and rival the score of Mr. Lippiatt. Bennett, Piers and Bexson fell in fairly quick succession but we still managed to post a good score of 240/7: a strong cameo innings with some lusty blows from Nathan scoring 24*.
We began our bowling innings strongly, with Najam & Hammond bowling tight lines and not giving the batsman many bad balls to score off. Despite not getting many early wickets, we managed to frustrate the batsmen with our economical bowling and bang average chat in the field. First change bowlers Nathan and Hickmott continued to put the pressure on the batsman – both picking up vital wickets in the later stages of the innings. We came to drinks in a strong position, with the opposition now needing just over 6 runs an over to chase down our target.
After taking the wickets of the top order batsman, the run rate began to pick up as spin came into the attack: both Piers and Nish bowling a few too many loose balls for the opposition to punish. However, with 10 overs to go and the opposition needing approximately 70 runs we were still confident to secure a victory. Hammond and Meade both took key wickets at the right time, bringing two Jesse Ryder’s to the crease. Without the dangers of any twos or threes or even quick singles, the runs were hard to come by and with good death bowling by Najam and Nathan we were able to restrict our opponents to 232/8. Figures were Najam (1-14), Hammond (2-39), Mead & Hickmott (1-41), Nish (1-37) and Piers (0-43). Overall, it was a deserved victory for the 2s.
Highlights include Bennett being unable to catch a ball at slip, and the super sub John Mark with some heroic fielding after replacing the ball-magnet Goodyear. A good all round performance; we hope to continue this form into the next game against BCU 1’s next Monday.